Diary of the Ghetto Priest | If God is pleased, then we are, too - MOP gets Nelson Mandela Sunshine Award in New York
The brothers and myself are simple men with one simple intention: to be totally committed to the Lord our God, and to do whatever He wills.
Who is my neighbour? The stranger beaten, robbed, and left for dead.
The parable of the Good Samaritan does not say that my neighbour is my cousins, my friends, my parents, my children or those who live next door, but the stranger - rejected by the priest and the rabbi, who walked away to the opposite side of the street, away from the man beaten, away from their fellow men.
The greatest satisfaction for the brothers and myself in Missionaries of the Poor is the love of God experienced when we bathe the man or woman taken off the street, or feed the hungry child who is starving, or embrace the useless prisoner or stranger considered an outcast by society.
To see the smiles, the joy, the happiness of the rejected ones, now integrated into our community of homeless and destitute people, is the fulfillment of the purpose of our lives that gives us great Joy.
Then to hear the word of Jesus: "When I was hungry you fed Me; when I was thirsty you, gave Me to drink; when I was naked, you clothed Me. Welcome into my Kingdom that lasts forever".
That we have pleased Christ and being welcomed into His Kingdom is what matters most of all.
We are happy to be receiving the Nelson Mandela Award for Human Rights Achievement given by the Sunshine Award organisation, based in Manhattan, New York. We work for human rights, but most of all we work in the name of the Lord. In Him, we have our life, our source of grace and inspiration; for Him, we do all things. Out of His life, the source of our every grace and strength, come our motivation and purpose.
SOURCE OF SATISFACTION
Without Him, we are nothing. We are men of God who simply live out the Beatitudes and call people to Christ - the source of every joy, happiness and satisfaction.
Even as we receive the 2016 Nelson Mandela Human Rights Achievement Sunshine Award, we praise God, and honour Him. I must not be honoured, not praised; nor do the brothers seek praise. Still, we are grateful and thankful that such work is blessed and regarded by our fellow men.
The brothers have begun a new ministry, sent from Jamaica to East Timor, one of the poorest countries in the far East. It is affected by great poverty and civil war. The brothers are missioned to work with lepers, who are numerous in East Timor. The brothers will make sure that medication is available to them - that is the first step - then housing, clothes, food and shelter.
I find lepers the sweetest and the most humble of people. Their skin is all pocked, they crawl on the ground, they have stubbed fingers and toes, their hands are twisted, their noses all disfigured and rounded, their hair is strings, they smile and beg, they pray, and give thanks.
At present, we are preparing for Moses to be shown at the Halton Theater, CPCC Charlotte, North Carolina. Those funds will go towards our brothers' work with lepers in East Timor. There we will build a monastery and an apostolate 'Jamaican Brothers' will continue to sing, play musical instruments and dance, even while they work with these poorest of people.
Sometimes I worry about the brothers working with lepers and HIV patients as well as the sick and dying in Africa, India, Philippines, Haiti and many other countries. Sometimes I worry about the earthquakes, the hurricanes, tornadoes, but I must learn they are my sons. And most of all, they are God's sons. He will take care of them.
The brothers are known everywhere as 'The Jamaican Brothers'. They will love and do well with the lepers. Please pray for them.
We have received several international awards, such as the Gusi Peace Price Award, the equivalent of the Nobel Prize in the far East; the Martin Luther King Award offered by the American Embassy; the Keys to the City of Miami; and now, the Nelson Mandela Award. If God is pleased - and I believed He is - and it helps to further our works, I give thanks. Once again, "He has raised up the lowly."
But these awards don't matter very much to the brothers or myself. Pleasing the Lord is all that matters. If He is glorified, then we are happy. If others are drawn to Christ by these awards, we are very happy. We are owned by Christ; we belong to Him.